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N Brown Group Chairman & CEO resigns

04
Jul '12
Lord Alliance of Manchester has announced his intention to stand down as Chairman of N Brown Group after over 40 years in the role.  He is to be replaced by Andrew Higginson, formerly an executive director of Tesco plc, who will join the board as a non-executive director in July and become Chairman on 1 September 2012.  Lord Alliance will chair the 47th - and his last - N Brown AGM in Manchester today and will remain on the board as a non-executive director.

Alan White, who has been chief executive of N Brown since 2002, has also informed the board of his intention to retire from the company in the second half of 2013.  Alan, who also served as group finance director from 1985 - 1999, intends to build a portfolio of non-executive roles (he is currently on the board of Topps Tiles).  He will continue in his existing role and remain fully committed until a new chief executive is settled fully in the business.

In addition two of the long-standing non-executive directors will step down from the board at the end of 2012.  Nigel Alliance OBE, who has been a director of N Brown Group plc since 1969, is retiring.  He has contributed to the business since the core J D Williams business was acquired in 1963 and he will remain a major shareholder.

Lord Stone of Blackheath, who has served on the board for ten years, is stepping down in recognition of the requirements of the UK Corporate Governance Code.  His vast retailing experience, imagination and original thinking will be missed.  It is expected that two new appointments to replace the departing non-executive directors will be made by the end of 2012.

Comments on Directorate Changes

Lord Alliance said:  "After over 40 years as Chairman of N Brown, I felt the time had come to pass on the role to a new generation which can continue to exploit the potential of multi-channel retailing.  We have come a long way from the Manchester mail order business I bought in 1963 and today more than half our sales are online.  The company is in great shape, and will benefit from an injection of new blood and new ideas. 

“We are very fortunate to have found Andrew, who has an impressive record in retailing and understands the exciting new opportunities available to N Brown.  As an ongoing major shareholder and board member I look forward to working with Andrew and to handing over to him the chairmanship of a company which has been so close to my heart for so many years."

Commenting on his appointment Andrew Higginson said:  "I am very excited at the prospect of joining N Brown as Chairman.  Under the current management, the company has positioned itself brilliantly in the online home shopping market while retaining the loyalty of its traditional mail order customer base.  It is a company with a long tradition of providing service, convenience and value for money to its customers, many of whom have shopped with it from generation to generation."


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